Friday, 21 January 2011

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek 24.

It's that time of the week again where I attempt to make my predictions for the upcoming Premier League games. Regular readers will know I've being running a predictions league, but I'm not doing too well in it, as so many games have been so hard to predict this season. I managed to get 120 points last week, but unfortunately everybody else did very well too. I'll need another few weeks of scores like that if I'm even going to challenge for second place in my league. From the table below you can see I'm currently in fifth place.

NC 1
_Bradley08 1130 +125 15
NC 2
essexgooner1965 925 +150 0
NC 3
preetgreet 820 +120 0
Up 4
Nickmc1980 785 +220 0
NC 5
aranmichael 720 +120 0
Down 6
COSGOONER 670 +50 0
NC 7
billygooner_29 640 +110 0
Up 8
oakhamgooner 560 +140 0
Up 9
Imjola 520 +110 0
Up 10
Tibiux 470 +100 0

Wolves v Liverpool
Wolves v Liverpool 
Wolves put up a great performance in losing 4-3 away to Man City last week, and they will be hoping for a familiar performance this week, with a better outcome of course. The return of Kevin Doyle from injury seems to have helped them find their goalscoring form, and it might be enough to keep them in the Premier League again.

Liverpool have been very poor away from home this season, and they have won only one of their 11 away league games so far. They will be looking to extract some revenge from this game, after losing at home to Wolves a few weeks ago. Since Kenny Dalglish returned to manage them it seems like nothing has changed, and they need some new players to revive their season, before they are dragged into the relegation fight.

If Wolves win this game they will move out of the bottom three, and be only two points behind Liverpool, which is a frightening thought for Liverpool fans. I think that Liverpool will manage a draw , but it won't be easy without the suspended Steven Gerrard.

Prediction: 1-1

Arsenal v Wigan
Arsenal v Wigan
Arsenal may have had a few minor hic-cups in cup games in the last couple of weeks, but they appear to be back on track now. Their best team is capable of beating any team, and I expect Arsene Wenger to play his best team in this game to try to keep pace with the two Manchester teams that are ahead of them. With Robin Van Persie looking like he is back to his best, the goals could start to flow from here on in for Arsenal.

Wigan have been a very difficult team to predict this season, as their form has been so erratic, but they are not an easy team to beat. They try their best to play good football, and I'm sure that they will approach this game in that manner as well. They need a result to get out of the bottom three, but it won't be easy for them against the leading scorers in the Premier League.

I think Wigan will give this game all they have, but the class of Arsenal will shine through in the end.

Prediction: 3-0

Blackpool v Sunderland
Blackpool v Sunderland
Blackpool continue to defy the odds week after week, as they punch above their weight on a very limited budget. Their home form could prove to be crucial for them, as they have so many home games left, and they need to make sure that Charlie Adam doesn't leave during the transfer window too. They will attack Sunderland from the first minute, as they always do, and it usually pays off for them.Darren Bent's departure to Aston Villa for an initial £18m might not be the end of the world for Sunderland because, in the last couple of months, Danny Welbeck and Asamoah Gyan have looked like better players anyway.

Sunderland can't be too happy with the departure of Darren Bent to Aston Villa, but it opens the door for Asamoah Gyan to play more often than he has being doing so far. I think that Gyan is a better player than Bent, and with the right partner it could be a very good piece of business for Sunderland. They won't find it easy in this game, as they have only won two out of 11 away games, despite being sixth in the league.

I think that we will see a few goals as usual when Blackpool play, and that it will end in a score draw.

Prediction: 2-2

Everton v West Ham
Everton v West Ham
Everton seem to be doing better since Tim Cahill went off to play in the Asia Cup with Australia. They have got good results against the better sides in the Premier League, but they have dropped far too many against the so called weaker teams. A home game against the bottom club is a great way for them to add to their points tally.

West Ham are in a bit of a mess, and they showed very little in their home defeat to Arsenal last week. They missed Scott Parker in that game, and they will need him back if they are to stand a chance in this game. The shambles over the proposed sacking of Avram Grant cannot be good for their morale, and it will be interesting to see the players reaction to him retaining his job.

Everton have to start beating the poorer teams in the Premier League, and I think that they will win this game comfortably.

Prediction: 3-0

Fulham v Stoke
Fulham v Stoke
Fulham look like they are too good to be sitting just above the relegation zone, but the fact that they have drawn half of their games doesn't help their cause. They have only lost one game more than fourth placed Chelsea, but they are 15th in the table. Their home form is pretty good though, and they will see this as a chance to improve it.

Stoke RFC have lost 10 games in the league, but their nine wins are keeping them in a very healthy eighth spot. Their away form has been a little better this season with three wins already, but they have lost six away games too.

I think that Stoke RFC are due a draw, and with Fulham being the draw specialists this game will probably end up with the honours shared.

Prediction: 1-1

Man Utd v Birmingham
Man Utd v Birmingham
"Manure" have the best home record in the Premier League, with 10 wins and a draw, and they have scored more home goals than any other team too. They will be looking to maintain their lead at the top of the table by winning this game, and winning it well.

Birmingham are only just outside the relegation zone, but like Fulham that is mainly down to the fact that they are draw specialists. They will have to do a lot of defending in this game, and I will be very surprised if they manage to get any sort of result.

I can't see anything other than a victory for "Manure", but I hope I'm wrong, and Birmingham somehow manage to get a result.

Prediction: 2-0

Newcastle v Tottenham
Newcastle v Tottenham
Newcastle's season has been very up and down, but they have scored 25 goals in 11 home league matches. The continued absence of Andy Carroll doesn't seem to have affected their results in the league, but they won't find it easy against The Spuds.

The Spuds slipped out of the top four last week when they could only manage a 0-0 draw at home to "Manure". Their away form has been pretty good, but they need to improve on it if they are to regain that top four spot, and qualify for the Champions League for the second season in a row. In Rafael Van Der Vaart they have a player capable of winning any game on his own, and his contribution could be crucial for them.

I think that Newcastle will give The Spuds a very good game, and emerge with a point to dent their top four aspirations.

Prediction: 2-2

Aston Villa v Man City
Aston Villa v Man City 
Aston Villa have signed Darren Bent from Sunderland, but their real problems are in their defence in my opinion. They are only outside the relegation zone on goal difference, and they have conceded 39 goals in 22 games so far. Most of those goals have been conceded away from home, and they will be hoping to get at least a draw from this game.

Man City are very good away from home, and they will see a game against a struggling Villa team as a real opportunity to continue that form. Only Arsenal have scored more goals away from home than City, as the shackles seem to come off them a bit on the road. The addition of Eden Dzeko can only make them stronger, and Villa will have a long hard day.

I think that City will pile the pressure on Villa by winning by a single goal.

Prediction: 1-2

Blackburn v West Brom
Blackburn v West Brom 
Blackburn have a pretty good home record, and they have managed quite well recently with a very long injury list. Their temporary manager Steve Kean has been given the job on a full time basis until 2013, and it will be interesting to see the players' reaction to that.

West Brom halted a very bad run of results last week by winning at home to Blackpool, but they are leaking far too many goals for their own good. With two wins in 11 away league games, and 24 goals conceded they need to try to tighten up at the back, but I don't think that they can. They play an attractive brand of football, but until last week it was costing them, and I think it will again in the future.

I think that Blackburn will have too much for a shaky West Brom defence, and win by a couple of goals.

Prediction: 3-1

Bolton v Chelsea
Bolton v Chelsea 
Bolton.s home form has been very good this season with only one defeat in 11 games. They are currently on a poor run, as they have played most of their recent games on the road, and they will be glad to get back home again. If they can overcome their injury problems I think they have a real chance of getting a result in this game

Chelsea managed to climb back into the top four with a hard fought home win over Blackburn last week, but they are really struggling away from home this season. They have won only three,and lost five of their 11 away league games, and if they don't change that record very soon it could destroy their season. Despite their very bad run of results they are still only seven points off the top of the league, and they will feel that a good run of results will put them right back in the mix.

I think that Bolton will make life very tough for Chelsea, but that the game will end in a score draw.

Prediction: 1-1
Blackpool v Man Utd  
Blackpool have a few games in hand, and they get to play one of them at home to league leaders "Manure" on Tuesday night. It's games like this that they fought so hard to win promotion for, and I think that they will give the game all that they have.

"Manure" have only won two out of 10 away games in the league so far this season, but they will see a Blackpool side that come at them as an ideal opportunity to win their third one. They will also see this as an ideal opportunity to put some daylight between them, and the chasing pack in the Premier League. With "Manure" having two league games in one fantasy football week, the choice of Nani as a fantasy captain could be a very wise move this week.

I expect another good performance from Blackpool, but I think "Manure" will pick them off on the break, and get a win.

Prediction 2-3

Wigan v Aston Villa
After a tough trip to Arsenal on Saturday Wigan will be glad to have a home game against a team on a bad run, that are very poor away from home. Depending on the weekend results this game could give Wigan the chance to move above Villa in the table.

Villa have only one win in 11 away games, and if that form continues they could find themselves in even more trouble than they are already. The 26 goals they conceded in those 11 games are a real worry for them as well, and they need to strengthen their defence immediately.

I think that Wigan might just about have enough to beat Villa, and move above them in the table.

Prediction 2-1 

Liverpool v Fulham
Liverpool's season needs something to turn it around very quickly. They are heading towards the lower reaches of the Premier League, and out of both domestic cup competitions. Luckily for them Fulham do not travel well, and they only have two away victories between this season and last season in the Premier League. Liverpool's home form is still pretty good with six wins in 11 games, and they will be expected to make it seven in this game. The deciding factor for Liverpool could be the fact that Steven Gerrard returns after his suspension in this game.

Fulham just do not travel well in the Premier League, and one away win a season is simply not good enough. They have managed six away draws this season though, and they would be happy to get another one in this game. With only nine away goals so far they are really struggling to score, and they will need to change that to get a result in this game.

I think Liverpool will get back on track, but only just.

Prediction 2-1


That's it for this week's predictions, but as usual feel free to tell me whether you think I have gone right or wrong in my predictions. Don't forget that six teams have two games each in this fantasy football gameweek, and that's always worth considering when transfers are being made. The next round of Premier League games will be played on the Tuesday and Wednesday following next weekend's FA Cup action, and I'll look at them on the Monday of that week.

See You Tomorrow.

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